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+ - Who should foot the bill for phishing?

Submitted by
unfunk
unfunk writes "According to this report recently aired on ABC Radio (Australia), the financial sector is pushing for the cost of phishing to be offloaded onto the consumers. Currently, if a person is a victim of fraud, the bank reimburses them the money lost, and chases up the fraudster.
Under the proposed changes to the Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct, then the customer will simply be out of pocket by however much they were defrauded.

From the article:
Taking money out of the ATM machine or using EFTPOS to pay for the groceries is now the preferred payment option for most Australians.
People are also embracing the BPAY system that allows people to pay their bills on the internet. Each month, some 14 million bills worth $9 billion are paid online.
But this growth in electronic transactions has also led to a surge in internet fraud.

Greg Tanzer is the Executive Director of Consumer Protection at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, or ASIC.

GREG TANZER: We're quite often releasing warnings about the latest internet based scam. Also these phishing emails, where someone sends out a blanket email asking you to verify your account details and password and there's certainly a very large number of those that circulate around the internet every day.

JENNIFER MACEY: Twenty years ago, ASIC set up the Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct.
This code of practice covers ATM and EFTPOS transactions, telephone and internet banking and bill payments.
Now this code is under review.

GREG TANZER: We really think that it's important to update the code to take account of changes in technology and changes in the way that consumers do their banking.

JENNIFER MACEY: So are the banks pushing for consumers to take on greater responsibility?

GREG TANZER: I think there are some in the industry who certainly want much more specificity about when it is that customers should be held liable.

On one hand, if you are silly enough to fall for these types of scams, then you deserve what you get. On the other hand though, with banks increasingly encouraging their customers to do all of their financial transactions electronically via EFTPOS, BPay, online banking, and the like, then should they not be required to protect the customers as best they can?
With bank profits in Australia acheiving new records each year, then a cynical person might suggest that they are only interested in looking after their own accounts, rather than that of their customers..."

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

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